Thursday, 19 January 2017

Making weathering powder

The hobby industry, as we all probably know, operates in a very competitive market. And as such, each manufacturer is trying really hard to come up with new & exciting products for us hobbyists to buy. But quite a few of those products are a bit of a con i.e. Clump foliage, Basing material, Gravel....for christs sake! and Weathering powders.

About five or so years ago when weathering powders hit the market (in my hobby sphere they did anyway) I had no idea what they were, just thought it was some new magic stuff that made metal look aged. But after I saw how much they wanted for the them I gave them the middle finger. Did a bit of a research online though, and discovered what they were derived from, but took it no further, as I didn't really need them....just wanted them :)

Just in case your not aware, weathering powders are just pigments. The "base" that gets added to the liquid mediums to produce paint. That's it!

Fast forward a few years when I started doing a bit of Kitbashing, and that's when I thought about pigments again. Weathering large areas with paints can be a bit of a pain in the rectum. So I decided to make my own. Thought I'd do a small tutorial on how I go about making them at the same time. So read on if I've not bored you to tears already :)

First, get hold of some cheap acrylic pastel sticks. Just make sure that their acrylic and not oil! otherwise your stuffed. Then steal a small cheese grater from your kitchen without your other half finding out or she'll brain you.

Grab one of the little bastards and....

Grate like a madman! It's actually really easy, just use the finest grating side and apply a small amount of pressure. I found that grating at an angle reduces the chances of the pastel chipping quite a lot. Just play around and you'll figure it out.

You'll end up with a nice pile of brown.......weathering powder!

Here I'm just showing you a comparison of the "real product" beside mine. It's just the same stuff! 

And after about half an hours work I ended up with every colour in the rainbow. I can mix & match to my hearts desire. Piece of piss hey!

Hope I haven't done one of those "sucking eggs" tutorials again. If I have, just let me know in the comments section and I'll delete it, seriously!

Cheers fellas :)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Joff Zuckerman

Ain't no Rogue Trader as bad arse as this here hombre.....fact.

I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a single hardcore RT fan out there who, at some stage in their life, hasn't gazed upon this illustration and thought to themselves "Gee I'd love to have a mini of him". But alas, as we all know GW never produced one......sigh :(

And unfortunately, for us mere mortals, he's not a model that can be easily converted up either. There's nothing in miniature that really comes close enough to replicating his "look". He's got sooooo many things going on with him, stylistically, that even if you were lucky enough to find said miniature, you'd still have your work cut out trying to find or make all of the other components required to make him.

So, why am I waffling on about this with you all then? I'm just stating the bloody obvious aren't I!? Well, I've been wanting to attempt to make him for at least a couple of years now, but, as I just mentioned, I could never find a suitable mini to base him off of. Fast forward a year or so, and I now think I've managed to collect enough bit's & bob's to have a REAL crack at it.

But before I go on, some of you out there (most likely all!....I'm terribly slow with Internet goings on sometimes) will be aware that as part of Diego's Space Raiders 3 Kickstarter campaign, Kev Adams sculpted a miniature version of him. And even though I think it's a really cool looking mini, and as much as I love Kev's work & have the up most respect for his awesome sculpting abilities, for me, it's still not close enough to the original. Yeah, I know, I can be a bit fussy sometimes :)

Kev Adams killa version.

Having a closer look at the green I think I know why he chose to alter some of the sculpt from the illustration though. Most likely because it'll be cast up as a single piece miniature. And as such, considerations needs to be taken into account of undercuts & part thickness etcetera. But, luckily for me, I don't have any of those constraints. I'll be making my version as a one off, to be painted upon completion.....not cast. So hopefully, fingers crossed, I'll be able to get closer to the illo :)

I began by breaking down all of the design elements from the illustration into separate sections. To help me lock down each component that I'd need to find to build this sucker. Here they be;

As you can see from above I sorted him into ten different, unique and almost impossible to find elements to make him from, piece of cake huh? So next came the fun part......trying to find similar looking mini's and/or parts thereof, and figuring which of these would be useful to make Joff from. Here's what I've managed to cobble together so far;

Some of these items will most likely not be incorporated into the final mini, but their there anyway, just to aid in the visualisation process and to try out fits of varying scales. 

Let's see what I've been up to so far;

The head & skull Sashimono will be mercilessly raped from the Copplestone mini pictured below. This particular miniature, not surprisingly, was what triggered my enthusiasm for beginning the Joff project in the first place. 

If only his arms were in a better position I would've
used him as the basis for the whole conversion.

Breastplate is from a space marine. I've begun reshaping the collar and neckline area to suit the design better.....still a ways to go though.

Purity seal? What self respecting Rogue Trader needs one of them for!?

Legs are from a heavily modified set from forgeworld. I spent ages looking for a mini with a natural standing pose. It's virtually bloody impossible to find a miniature in that stance for some reason.

Now comes the part where GS and cursing comes in :)

For this project there's several challenging sections for me to make/convert. The first is most probably the most obvious to you all; the Bionic arm with incorporated power fist. I scoured the net for ages trying to find a fist, hand, claw or any other suitable appendage that closely resembled it, but alas, no joy. So, in the end I settled for a ghoul hand. It's gunna take a lot of work, but I think this element, on it's own, has the potential to either make or break the overall look of the mini. Second will be the shoulder pads. Their not THAT complex, but they'll still require a fair amount of work to get their shape right. Then there's the sword. That's gunna be a real bugger, shaping the blade to fit the illustration & adding those bird skull thingy's to the hilt. And lastly comes the torn cloak....never done that before, so I'm gunna be looking online for help with that. So yeah, a few painful bits in the build. But as far as everything else goes, I'm not worried, everything else should be fairly easy....famous last words hey chums :D

I'm hoping to have him done for BOYL....this year! I'm not sure if this is wishful thinking on my part or just another one of my hobby delusions, but I'll give it a bash anyway :)

And erm er, bye to youse all.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Remember this old thing?

In a galaxy a long, long, bloody loooooong time ago I began construction on a Hovertank to use alongside my other Helsreach creation. Now, I could just say that I got distracted by something else and lost interest, but that'd be bullshit. The real reason I stopped working in on it was that I was beginning to feel a little daunted with all the airbrushing OSL work that I knew I'd be needing to carry out soonish. So, I just left it in it's 2/3 finished state for almost two years.....christ! I didn't realise that it was that long ago until I began writing this post just now.

Anyway, enough waffle from me. On with the show;

I know, I know.....the diorama doesn't suit it, but I ain't got no desert scenery yet ok!

Front door.

The front sidey bit.

The noisy end.

Disco lights in full swing. The inhabitants of Helsreach really know how to party :)

The shot from above, or something?

Control panel, with a poorly lit photo from me.

Look! It has a flip top lid too! For mini insertion......mmmmmm, insertion!

The ubiquitous teddy bear up front. Every heavy vehicle has to have one of these.

My "almost" successful OSL on the engines.

More of the same.

An arrow pointing to something a glowing thing that gets hot?

Oil leaks, good mechanics are hard to find on Helsreach.

More streaking mess along the sides of the hull. Roadworthy check? Fail!

The big arse boom stick & a shark maw. Nothing says "get outta mar fuckin way hombre" like a set of shark teeth. 

An oil pipe with yet another leak, a Heavy bolter and a cow herder on steroids up front.

Now comes the staged disco photo shoot. Kulo and a few of his gang were volunteered;

Nothing gets the boys more psyched prior to battle than havin a boogey on the Hovertank dance floor.

"Iz a liket up eer, Iz kan shoot a lot a umies!"

"Oi! wats dat out eer?"

"Iz kan see ya, but yooz karnt see me. Muhahaha"

Once the disco's over, the REAL fun begins.

The Hovertank and Co. on the lawn, in front of a fake brick wall. Really helps to set the scene now doesn't it :)

Ok, now some boring critiques from me. Hold on! Here goes;

I'm a bit annoyed with the weathering, again. I think I overdid it.....again! If I compare it to the the state it was in before I took to it with the oils, pigments and other paint stuff that I used, then I can see that I've covered up a lot of it's original colour. It turned out ok, just a tad too much on the aged look for my taste.

The OSL on the engines looks too flat as well. More time spent with the airbrush probably would have helped I think. I didn't lay enough coats down to make it "pop" enough. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

I was going to give this thing a name or put some personal graffiti on it, but I couldn't think of anything suitably corny or witty on both fronts, so in the end I just gave up and left it plain, bar a few transfers :)

The photo's are a bit crap too, coz it was too damn big to fit it my light box. I had to rely on my ceiling lights instead :( Sorry guys.

Wow! Quite a lot of whinging from me hey? But overall I'm pretty happy with the beast. I'm just a bit disappointed with how some of the elements turned out. It's still gunna be a lot of fun to use in game though. I foresee a lot of unfortunate individuals getting run down with it.

Actually, now that I think of it, can anyone think of a really cool, kick arse name for it? The winner will receive an overly enthusiastic -e pat on the back- from yours truly  :D

Cheers :)

Thursday, 15 December 2016

An army.....never done this before.

I'm nearing the end of my quest to have all the minis required to run The Wolf Time campaign. I could have taken the easy way out and just used proxies, but it wouldn't be the same now would it :)

If you have a look back at when I started this madness you can see the list of minis that I wanted to have. Well, the Space Wolves component of this project have now been officially completed!

And here they all are, broken down into their respective units. Note: to differentiate the squads from each other I painted a coloured stripe down their helmets, so as to help me identify them on the tabletop a little easier. And as an added bonus (and more importantly)  it makes them look cooler :)

First up are the three Tac squads, yellow stripe;

Second, the two Dev squads, white stripe;

Lastly, the single Assault squad, white stripe with black banding;

Here are the individual squad Sergeants, with their respective squad markings on their legs. Coz it would have looked dumb if I painted the stripe down their faces :P

And here's a shot of the whole gang, chillin;

A close up of one of my favorite Sergeants, because I can :) 

Great for picking his nose it is!

Having a look back at my "to-do list" of the minis that I needed to play this campaign, there's quite a few that I can now scratch off:

15 Howlers aka tactical squad
10 Snarlers aka Devastator squad
5 Tearers aka Assault squad
5 Trackers aka jet cycle squad
6 Wolf Time characters
11 Ork Nobz. I originally thought I could get away with 5 but after I got some clarification on the Oldhammer forum I realised that I'd need more....ll actually, the last being for a character model.
1 Ork Character model Kulo
Couple of terrain pieces
Dungeon floor plans No#1
Dungeon rooms
Judge Dredd Citi-Block floor plans

So far , if I disregard The Wolf Time thing for a moment, painting up an army has been a whole new experience for me. Sure, I've collected enough minis to have an army.......probably a few times over if I'm honest. But I've never actually sat down, planned out a force and painted them to completion before. This project, thus far, has taken me a bloody long time though, almost from the end of March this year! How all the cool kids who bang out armies for modern 40K do it on a regular basis, while still maintaining a modicum of enjoyment in the process, I'll never know?

I'll be taking a little break from The Wolf Time for a short while. I wanna catch up on some of my unfinished projects first, namely my Hovertank & Siege Dreadnought :)

Anyway, thats it from me :)

May you all have a Merry Xmas and eat so much that you become violently unwell :P

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Wolf Time Characters.

Ok, the next batch of Marines is done. Here are "The Wolf Time" Space Marine characters. Shown in some kinda semblance of an order;

"Say cheeeeesssseeee pretend plastic warriors!"

Librarian Edrigar, on a mission to promote reading to the wider universe.

Durlan the Navigator, looking to the stars for directions, coz his lost, again!

The good Captain Inferno, enjoys waving both his weapons in the air...coz it scares the enemy but good!

Captain Greylock, he's good with kids and killing others......all at the same time!

Captain Storm, made sure ALL the tomatoes were well and truly diced!

Commander Enoch, unshaven, moody and loves to punch heads off shoulders.....he's not fussy, any will do.

I'm pretty happy with how they all turned out. They look unique and should be easily identifiable on the tabletop during play. Hopefully they last more than a couple of rounds, but as a general rule, most virgin minis don't last five seconds :)

Next in line for the miniature photo shoot will be the Space Wolf footsloggers.

So bye for now & stay frosty!